This is the presentation of the Saint of the day for March 27, Saint John of Egypt, Hermit by Catholic Lectionary.
Life of Saint John of Egypt
O Christian Soul, St Anthony of Egypt was a hermit. St Mary of Egypt was a hermit, and St John of Egypt was also a hermit. Why are all these Egyptian saints hermits?
Maybe that will be a topic for another day. A hermit is someone who lives alone for religious reasons. Hermits choose to live in caves, or desert, or a small house called hermitage, away from human distractions, all for the sake of God.
In this seclusion of theirs, the hermits only pray, work, do penance, and eat only wild fruits, or maybe the little food that people who know them bring sometimes.
So, being a hermit is living a life of penance and suffering for God. St John of Egypt was brought up to the trade of a carpenter, and at the age of 25, he abandoned the world and placed himself under the direction of an aged anchoret, who for ten or twelve years trained him in obedience and self-surrender.
When his spiritual father died, St John withdrew to the top of a cliff where he built a hermitage, to avoid all human contact. During five days of the week, he conversed only with God, but on Saturdays and Sundays, with men and he gave them spiritual advice.
He never ate until sunset, and his food was dried fruit and vegetables. John possessed spiritual gift of prophecy, often predicting the future and knowing the details of persons he had never met.
He prayed incessantly, and spent the last three days of his life without food or drink or any interactions, but prayer. He died peacefully when on his knees at prayer.
Did you know that many times St John Paul II was found missing at the Vatican, only to be discovered later at his hiding place near a lake, where he would be alone praying and meditating.
Many times too, he was found at the quiet white grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary in St Peter’s Basilica, praying the rosary and meditating. Oh, the silence of Our Lady! “In silence and quiet, the devout soul goes forward and learns the secrets of the Scriptures.
Fly the tumult of men as much as possible. The greatest saints avoided the company of men as much as they could and chose to live to God in secret” [Imitation of Christ: Book One – chapter 20].
O Christian Soul, you can even make your room your hermitage. Learn to lock your door and spend hours with your God.
Call for Meditation
‘Set a watch, O Lord, before my lips’ [St Aloysius Gonzaga].
This day, my Silent Jesus, heal my tongue of talkative spirit. Amen.
Having gone through this piece about saint of the day for March 27, make effort O Christian soul to amend your life. Peace of Christ be with you.
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